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Electronic Flora of South Australia Genus Fact Sheet

Genus MASTOPHOROPSIS Woelkerling 1978: 210

Phylum Rhodophyta – Class Florideophyceae – Order Corallinales – Family Corallinaceae – Subfamily Melobesioideae

Thallus arborescent, composed of a basal holdfast and erect stipes bearing branched, flexible, ribbon like branches; genicula absent. Structure pseudoparenchymatous with dorsiventral organisation throughout; construction monomerous, consisting of a single system of branched, laterally cohering, filaments that collectively contribute to a centrally situated core and a peripheral region where portions of core filaments or their derivatives curve outwards towards the thallus surface; cell elongation occurring mainly behind actively dividing subepithallial initials that are usually as short as or shorter than their immediate inward derivatives; cells of adjacent filaments joined by cell-fusions, secondary pit-connections absent; epithallial cells terminating most filaments at thallus surface, distal walls rounded or flattened but not flared; haustoria and trichocytes unknown.

Reproduction: Vegetative reproduction unknown. Gametangia and carposporangia borne in uniporate conceptacles; tetrasporangia borne in multiporate conceptacles that apparently arise from groups of subepithallial initials; gametangia and carposporangia formed on separate thalli from tetrasporangia; conceptacle always borne only on dorsal surface of branches. Bisporangia unknown.

Gametangial thalli dioecious. Carpogonial filaments and young female conceptacles unknown. Mature carposporophytes composed of a inconspicuous central fusion cell and short gonimoblast filaments bearing terminal carposporangia. Spermatangial filaments unbranched, borne on the floor, walls and roof of male conceptacle chambers.

Tetrasporangia scattered across the conceptacle chamber floor; roofs formed by filaments interspersed amongst and peripheral to sporangial initials, each mature sporangium containing zonately arranged tetraspores and possessing an apical plug that blocks a roof pore prior to spore release.

Type species: M. canaliculata (Harvey) Woelkerling 1978: 210.

Taxonomic notes: Mastophoropsis includes a single known species that appears restricted to southern Australia. This account is based on Woelkerling (1978) and Woelkerling (1988, pp. 180–185).


WOELKERLING, W.J. (1978). Mastophoropsis canaliculata (Harvey in Hooker) gen. et comb. nov. (Corallinaceae, Rhodophyta) in southern Australia. Br. phycol. J. 13, 209–225.

WOELKERLING, Wm.J. (1988). The Coralline Red Algae. [British Museum (N.H.): London.]

The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIIB complete list of references.

Author: W.J. Woelkerling

Publication: Womersley, H.B.S. (28 June, 1996)
The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia
Rhodophyta. Part IIIB. Gracilarialse, Rhodymeniales, Corallinales and Bonnemaisoniales
Reproduced with permission from The Marine Benthic Flora of Southern Australia Part IIIB 1996, by H.B.S. Womersley. Australian Biological Resources Study, Canberra. Copyright Commonwealth of Australia.

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